Why the Vietnam War Is the Longest War in the U.s History? Essay Example

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Part 1-Course of the War

President’s escalation

The Vietnam War actually began on November 1st 1955 as a cold war of military conflict among Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. As tension escalated among this group of nations United States of America joined as an ally. Their involvement was described as trying to prevent the establishment of communism as a world economic system. More importantly, South Vietnam was considered a US puppet state and should Vietnam lose the war this part of the country would have ultimately been ruled by communist regime.

Conservative

AConservatist approach towards reconciling involvement pointed towards helping out in the fight against communism. Alternative arguments are that United Statesof America did not have to be in Vietnam nor prolong the war for decades. However, Conservatist saw the necessity since communism was rapidly evolving in Russian and many other parts of the world.

Examples of each decade

1945-1955:

  • United States was not fully involved because the war began in 1955
  • American troops arrived in France in 1950 as ally as the escalating war tension ensued

1955-1965:

  • Troops tripled as Laos and Cambodia were severely plundered by the

Vietnamese soldiers.

1965-1975:

  • United States of America’s involvement reached its peak in 1968 ( Tet Offensive)
  • Decline was experienced as US began to withdraw forces in response to Vietnamization
  • War continues until 1973 even though Paris Peace Accords was signed
  • War ends in 1975 with the capture of Salgon by Vietnam army.

Part 11- Impact of the War

Economic

Roberto Calderon (2007) explained that Vietnam War has immense impacts on America’s economy, which were not negative. The researcher cited in:-

  • 1953, US input to French Union was 385m US.
  • 1954, 400m US.
  • 1953 – 1965, 2.4 billion US
  • 1964-1973, 111- 120 billion US

This had severe impacts on President Johnson’s Great Society Plan resulting in huge deficits (Calderon, 2007).

Great Society Plan

The great society plan as posited by president Johnson was expected to reduce poverty and promote racial justice in America. With these expenditures on Vietnam War clearly there was insufficient funding toexecute programs that would reduce poverty in America and promote any degree of social/racial justice within the society. Precisely, the idea emerged soon after world war 11, but became stalled due to United States of America joining the Vietnam War.

Civil Rights Movement

In the midst of Vietnam War the civil rights movement emerged. Historians are still debating whether the war impacted this movement or the movement impacted the war. Speculations are that this may be one of the reasons for Vietnam War being the longest in world history (Harrison, 1995).

Arguments are that Vietnam War during the 1960’s era split a struggle for racial justice at time when it was closest to being achieved. Divisions regarding whether expenditure should continue towards war abroad while people were impoverish at home gained momentum. Attention was now turned towards justification for the war and not any venture of creating racial justice (Harrison, 1995)

Foreign policy and Nixon 1969 Doctrine

Nixon doctrine as it relates to foreign policy on war indicates that United States of America will continue providing military aid and supplies, but ally forces were to assume responsibility for their own manpower. The first and most significant modification of this doctrine implied that US would no longer finance minor allies unconditionally, but they had to be responsible for their part of the war expenditure.

References

Calderon, R. (2007).The Economic Impact of Vietnam War on the United States Economy United States Sergeants Major Academy

Harrison, B. (1995). The Impact of Vietnam War on the Civil Rights Movementin the mid Sixties. Department of History

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